University's new chosen name policy designed to foster an inclusive environment

The policy is among several recent changes to support JHU's transgender and nonbinary community

Johns Hopkins has recently adopted an official policy that confirms students, faculty, and staff have the option to identify themselves using a chosen first, middle, and last name within university systems.

The policy follows a number of other actions—including adjusting health insurance offerings, improving services through Student Health and Well-being, and making it easier for students to use chosen names on ID cards and in university computer systems (where applicable)—that are focused on making JHU a place where LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, and students can thrive.

"JHU values the diversity of its community," said Katrina Caldwell, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. "The new policy is intended to promote and support an inclusive environment where all students, staff, and faculty can fully and genuinely participate in the academic and work communities. We are grateful to the members of our community who championed this change in ways that ensured Hopkins continues to build a culture of inclusivity."

According to the new policy, the university will support the use of a chosen name wherever feasible in its systems, with certain exceptions where a legal name is required.

As explained on the Chosen Name page of the Diversity at JHU website, there are many reasons why someone would use a chosen name, such as a reflection of gender identity, as a nickname, or as a westernized or Americanized name. Details on the systems that accommodate chosen names and instructions about how to change a name are on that same website.

Recent activities to update university systems have resulted in almost 40 systems modified or processes documented for making direct updates this year. Efforts continue on updating additional systems.

These changes follow an announcement at the beginning of July that Johns Hopkins health insurance plans have been updated and aligned enterprisewide to cover an expanded range of gender-affirming care for all users. More information on gender-affirming care is available on the website of the Center for Transgender Health.

The Student Health and Well-Being office has also increased its resources, particularly in support of trans and nonbinary students' needs, including a multidisciplinary Gender Affirming Care Team of professionals from across Johns Hopkins University and Medicine to ensure the university is at the forefront of best practices in the field. In partnership with Gender and Sexuality Resources, SHWB offers trainings to all staff to support their ability to provide informed, quality, and compassionate care, and it has resources for those interested in medical transition, including those seeking hormone therapy or pre-surgical consultation and expedited referrals.

"SHWB believes every student deserves care that affirms their identity and strives to fulfill students' needs to help them feel healthy, safe, and empowered," said Kevin Shollenberger, vice provost for student health and well-being. "I am grateful for the feedback we have received from our students and learners in helping to shape our practices and services and for the partnership with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Center for Transgender Health and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion."

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